China world's e-waste dump site

January 9, 2007

China is the world's dump for electronic waste with about 70 percent of the industry's material smuggled into the country, a Chinese scientist said.

State Environmental Protection Administration researcher Hu Tao said some of the waste is shipped to inland provinces of China from the costal communities where processing plants are located, China Radio International said Tuesday. If the government doesn't intervene, the shipment to interior provinces will increase, he said.

SEPA researchers said they found coastal plants use outdated techniques to melt metals from circuit board and to separate electronic components. The process discharges untreated toxic liquids into the environment.

The Basel Convention, adopted in 1989, bans countries from transporting hazardous wastes across boundaries for disposal, especially into developing countries. Tao said a number of countries did not sign the treaty, so the dumping has been able to continue.

SEPA urged government departments, especially customs, to step up law enforcement and punishments to curb more electronic waste from being dumped in China.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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